On Wednesday, May 5 priests from around the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois will gather at Villa Maria Catholic Life Center on Lake Springfield for a day of celebration. That day they will hear from presenter Bishop Ronald Hicks of Joliet, participate in Evening Prayer, a dinner and then, along with Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, will honor two priests who are celebrating a special Jubilee this year. Being recognized this year are Father James Neuman, who will be celebrating 50 years as a priest, and Father Christopher Comerford, who will be celebrating his 25-year Jubilee.
We asked everyone from across the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois what Catholic teacher in our schools is making a big difference in the classroom? What teacher goes above and beyond, someone whose impact is deep and personal? What teacher authentically lives out what it means to be Catholic and instills our faith into his or her students? What teacher embodies St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, who founded Catholic schools in the United States?
The bishops of the six dioceses in Illinois have written a letter urging lawmakers to reject legislation that would repeal Illinois’ Parental Notice of Abortion law. The bishops ask the faithful to contact state lawmakers and urge them to vote “No” to House Bill 1797 and Senate Bill 2190. Read their letter to learn how this legislation would harm women and protect human traffickers.
On March 23, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki and Donna Moore, director of the Office for the Missions welcomed dozens of school children from the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois for the Mission Mass. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, attendance in the Cathedral was much lower than at the usual annual Mass — normally the Cathedral is full — however, many school students watched the Mass on a live-stream.
Identical pieces of legislation pending at the Illinois statehouse would help protect human traffickers while simultaneously harming victims of rape, incest, or other sexual violence. The legislation would repeal the Parental Notification Act, an Illinois law that requires a parent or legal guardian to be notified when a minor under the age of 18 seeks an abortion (the law now is only for notification, not parental consent).
St. Ignatius of Loyola encouraged a way of praying among his followers that involved engaging our imagination — to picture yourself as a character in the story, hearing the words that are exchanged, meditating on the look that crosses Jesus’ face, or imagining what it must have been like in the crowd as they witnessed Jesus crucified. As we contemplate the greatest mysteries of our faith in these holy days, it can be good to ask ourselves: What do I see and hear as I pray with these Scriptures?
The Easter Vigil is the premier time each year for making of Catholic adults through the celebration of the sacraments of Christian initiation. This year in 32 parishes and at one university, 71 people will have come to the Easter Vigil to celebrate rites that will have joined them to the Catholic Church.
EDWARDSVILLE — She was raised in the Lutheran Church and attended Lutheran schools, but for Kirsten Tucker of Edwardsville, the decision to become Catholic had been in the back of her mind for a while. Today, the 56-year-old teaches at St. Mary School in Edwardsville — and little did she know that taking that job at St. Mary would be the driving factor to her joining the Catholic Church.
Fear is all around us. From the pandemic and bad economic news to job insecurity and family stress, your life may be full of anxiety right now. Women needing to step back from the noise of the secular world, a refreshing reset, or a spiritual boost are invited to “Freedom from Fear,” a women’s overnight retreat May 1 to May 2 in Springfield.
It is a Thursday afternoon at Serenity Manor, a senior living facility in Springfield. Some residents are taking naps. Others are watching television. For five faith-filled Catholics, they are meeting in a room to receive Our Lord in the holy Eucharist from Father Peter Chineke, parochial vicar at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
TAYLORVILLE — For decades, Lucia Snow of Taylorville described herself as a “spiritual person.” But things started to change in 2017. That’s when she and her family moved close to St. Mary Church and School in Taylorville. Two of her children enrolled in the school and “fell in love with the Catholic faith” she says. Soon, they were baptized, along with her two daughters at the time.
The three days of the sacred triduum are the bridge connecting Lent to the 50 days of Easter. Intended to be lived as a whole, these three days: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday’s Easter Vigil are the encapsulation of the Lord’s life, death, and resurrection that we are called to embrace each day of our lives. While the liturgies of these days (while seen as one) each contain unique remembrances from our Lord’s life, they remind us that ultimately our faith is not about history. It is about God’s saving action, beyond all time, being made present for our participation. Our “triduum experience” can only be richer if we make the sacrifice to participate all three days.
During Holy Week, which begins on Palm Sunday (March 28) Lent comes to an end before the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, which is the beginning of the Easter triduum. The three chronological days are liturgically one day and form what the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops calls “the summit of the Liturgical Year.”
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki announced that, effective April 11, Divine Mercy Sunday, the general dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days will be modified to be limited to the following groups:
After a year of the pandemic, children are probably itching to get out of the house, socialize, and have fun. Parents are probably just as eager to have their children try some new experiences. This summer, the Office for Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois is excited to have Totus Tuus, a fun and faith-filled experience, coming to several parishes across the diocese in June and July.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are urging Catholics to avoid taking the one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine if other options are available saying that it “raises questions about the moral permissibility of using vaccines developed, tested, and/or produced with the help of abortion-derived cell lines.”
SPRINGFIELD — HSHS Illinois Home Care is holding a food drive in March for the Catholic Charities food pantry to help those struggling with food insecurity.
Over eight decades ago two teenagers — Kincaid native Victor Lanzotti and Taylorville native Lucille Russell — met on the town square in Taylorville. When Lucille suggested that Vic buy her an ice cream cone, Vic had a flirty response: “Sure, but just the nickel one so you won’t get fat!” As it turns out, Lucille got her ice cream and Vic got the girl.
CARLINVILLE — He is a union ironworker. He travels to work on windfarms, bridges, metal buildings, hospital expansions, and stadiums. During his young career, coming home from work, or during other occasions of thought, Eddie Ray says he considered getting baptized. Over the years these thoughts filled his mind and soul which slowly led him to becoming more of a faith-filled person he says — but it was meeting his wife, Lauren, that would ultimately lead him to Catholicism.